GO-SHIP P02: Radio Jargon
Sophie Shapiro shares the mystery of radio jargon aboard the R/V Roger Revelle
24 May 2022
Here’s Sophie Shapiro, reporting on radio jargon!
While on the ship, we often need to talk to crew mates from opposite ends of the ship. To do so, we use radios. With background chatter, radio static, and other noise, we need to use correct radio procedure to make sure the message gets through.
The first rule of radio procedure is that you say who you are calling first, then who you are. I work in the lab, so if I need to call the deck I say “Deck, this is Lab.” With lots of people using the same lines, it’s important for everyone to know who I am and who I’m talking to!
The second rule is that you always need to acknowledge when someone calls you. You can respond “Roger,” which means “message received.” You could also say “copy,” which means “I understand.”
The final rule is that if you say any numbers, you need to say them one at a time and the person receiving the message needs to repeat them back. Instead of thirty-five, you would say “three five,” and the other person would respond: “Copy. Three five.”
As a CTD operator, I’m usually sitting in the lab telling the winch operator where to move the rosette so I can take samples. If I want to collect a water sample 1000m deep, I say, “Winch, Lab. Target depth one zero zero zero.”
The winch operator responds, “Copy. One zero zero zero.” Then they move the rosette so I can take the sample.
Rosette being deployed into the ocean. Photo by Sophie Shapiro.
Of course, the radio isn’t always serious business! Sometimes you might just want to say hello to a friend or find out what’s for lunch. As long as you use proper radio procedure, you know your message will get to the right place.
Goodbye, or as we say on the radio, “Over and out!”